A Humboldt Park Restaurant Needs Help Recovering From a Fire

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Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar, a Humboldt Park restaurant that serves everything from ramen to paczki, is closed after a fire on Sunday that destroyed its kitchen.

The fire began the night of Sunday, April 21 in the restaurant’s kitchen at 2700 W. Chicago Avenue, owners Tiffany and Guy Meikle announced on social media. A malfunctioning hood motor that “suddenly went out of balance,” sparked, and ignited the blaze. Firefighters responded quickly to the restaurant, which was open at the time, and no injuries were reported.

Repairs to Heritage’s kitchen should take two weeks, the Meikles write on GoFundMe, where they aim to raise $10,000 to help cover the costs of smoke and water damage, purchase new equipment, and financially support employees through the unexpected closure. ”This isn’t just about repairs; it’s about keeping the spirit of our community alive,” they write.

One of Chicago’s most unusual neighborhood restaurants, Heritage was founded in 2017 as a stylish and intimate destination for caviar from a wide range of countries including Uruguay, Denmark, Italy, and Germany. Its extensive menus are ostensibly rooted in Eastern European cuisine — “born of the Black Sea,” per the Meikles — with staples like kopytka (Polish potato dumplings), prime rib pierogi, and pickled herring. But as executive chef, Guy Meikle (Nana) has also cast his gaze across numerous continents for dishes like lamb and shiitake mandu, Korean fried chicken sandwiches with kimchi, and even a Chicago-style Italian shaved lamb sandwich with giardiniera made on-site.

An accidental fire sparks a major setback for Lunchbox food truck’s first permanent location

Lunchbox, a decade-old Chicago food truck featuring Asian-style street food, was a week away from unveiling its first permanent location when a fire destroyed its space on Wednesday, April 17 at 1535 W. Devon Avenue in Edgewater.

Owner John Nguyen was checking on the building around 9 p.m. on Wednesday ahead of a city inspection scheduled for the following day when he opened the back door to discover a cloud of black smoke, he tells reporters from WGN. Nguyen called the Chicago Fire Department, and while firefighters were able to extinguish the flames, the blaze caused significant damage to the space. No injuries were reported and Chicago police tell ABC7 that the fire was ruled accidental.

Nguyen, along with wife and business partner Tanya Nguyen, had spent a year working toward opening a permanent home for Lunchbox, the food truck business they founded in 2013. Chicago has a contentious history with food trucks, but the pair tell reporters they were one of the first in the city, navigating stringent regulations to earn a following with spicy “fire” rangoons, bahn mi stuffed with juicy Filipino longanisa, and pork tacos slathered in savory Vietnamese sauce.

Despite the disheartening setback, the Nguyens have vowed to spend the next year rebuilding Lunchbox and aim to raise $15,000 via GoFundMe to help them start over. The food truck, which remains operational, will continue to do lunchtime business on weekdays, usually near the University of Chicago at 5801 S. Ellis Avenue. “We shall rise from these ashes,” the Nguyens write on Instagram.

Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

2700 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 661-9577 Visit Website

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